Chennai, Feb 23  The Madras High Court on Wednesday declared valid the election conducted for South Indian Film Artists Association (SIFAA), popularly known as Nadigar Sangam in 2019.

The court also ordered counting of votes from ballot boxes which have been kept in a bank locker since then.

A bench of Justices Pushpa Sathyanarayana and Mohammed Shaffiq ordered the election officer to open the ballot boxes, count the votes, and declare the results.

It directed that the entire process must be completed within four weeks and results declared.

The elections for SIAA were declared in 2019 when actors Vishal Krishna, Nasser, and Kanthi were heading the organisation. The Registrar of Societies passed an executive order suspending the elections indefinitely after a few members had lodged alleging that their names were removed from the electoral rolls.

The Nadigar Sangam or SIAA immediately approached the Madras High Court and a bench of Justice P.D. Audikesavalu stayed the Registrar’s order on June 21 and permitted the conduct of elections on June 23. He, however, directed that the counting of votes must not be done until the final disposal of the writ petition.

The court also passed an order directing the police to provide protection at the election venue.

However, Justice K. Kalyanasundaram, in January 2020, declared that the elections held on June 23, 2019, null and void, holding that the three-year tenure of the three actors who held the posts of President, General Secretary, and Treasurer had come to an end in October 2018 and therefore all actions taken by them should be considered invalid in law.

He also ordered fresh elections within three months by appointing a new election officer. The Nadigar Sangam moved an appeal and the division bench of Justices Sathyanarayana and Shaffiq reversed the order to hold the 2019 polls valid.

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